Tiere live: teaching biodiversity

One of the main aims of biology and environmental education is to promote the respectful and emotional understanding of nature and environment among children and the youth. “Tiere live” is a joint project of the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) and the Academy for Teacher Training and Personnel Management (ALP) which aims at educating children and the youth by using an innovative approach based on emotional involvement.


The academies support Bavarian teachers and environmental trainers with practical materials, information and training. Students are taught to consider animals as part of their environment and recognize the connection between biotopes and ecosystems. Through education they become aware of the meaning of biodiversity. One basic approach is the emotional involvement of children and youth. They can experience the fascination of nature by handling living animals and being inspired by them, thus getting to know and appreciate them. Dealing with special animals helps students overcome possible prejudices or fears.

The compendium used in the project includes concrete descriptions and materials for 64 tested and tried actions with animals of 12 different groups (for example birds, beavers, bats, butterflies, earthworms, snails). Two special chapters focus on the permanent keeping of animals in schools and animal tracks. The selected topics and animals are particularly suitable for school with reference to the curricula, hygiene, laws and availability. At the moment four chapters of the compendium are available in English.

The homepage supports the implementation of the project. Besides presenting current information and training courses, an internet forum offers the option to contact the experts who composed the handbook and meet colleagues to exchange teaching materials and experience on integrating living animals in education. In order to give us feedback there is an online questionnaire available. Have a look at the homepage.

Take part in the project! In March 2012, a conference will bring together experts from all over Europe to discuss and develop strategies on how to implement “Tiere live” in schools on a European scale.

From the 16th to 18th of March 2012 the ANL, ALP and IUCN with IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) will organize a workshop, where CEC experts will meet and discuss how the handbook could be used in other European countries and how to share experiences in education for biodiversity.

To participate in the conference follow this link.

Contact: Christian Stettmer, ANL, christian.stettmer@anl.bayern.de

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